One of the mission statements for ETC is to change the way that conferences are done by leading by example. Here are some of things we do that are different and that we hope to see more conferences adapting as well.
- Both testers & programmers
ETC is one of the few conference that looks at testing as both testers and programmers see it. This brings together two communities that often are working on the same team yet see themselves as opposing each other.
- Diverse and inclusive speakers
ETC has a very different approach to speakers than most conferences. Having skype calls with *every* potential speaker allows us to find hidden gems and avoid false promising talks. Maaret wrote a blog about it here if you want more info. Also, not only do pay all travel and hotel but we setup a system to pay back immediately, so speakers that are tight on money don't have to go a few months short. This opens us up to many speakers that otherwise wouldn't get to come.
- Inclusion at the conference
One of the best parts of a conference is meeting and talking to new people. But this can be hard and intimidating for many of us. We do 3 events at the conference to enable this. (A speed meet, a lean coffee and open space). All of these are full sessions, in the middle of the conference. So that we don't just get the already extroverted people. The timing is also deliberate. Speed Meet right before the 1st lunch so you can find a friend for lunch. Lean coffee (small tables lead by speakers) midway thru the conference so you can discuss what you are learning. Finally open space right near the end, to insure you get that 'one special thing' you really needed from ETC.